Hi Everyone **UPDATE - I fixed what I thought was bum electronics.. by lowering my pickup height as far as it goes. Sounds great my last post shows what I did with audio clips ** I have been lurking on this forum and looking for some advice to my issue. I'd just like to preface this post by saying I am not an expert in bass gear by any means, I have been playing bass for about 15 years and have had the same rig for the last 10 years. I do not even know exactly what model of bass I play, I know that it is a Yamaha RBX series, active with 3 band EQ. I am a basic rock player who uses a heavy handed pick. I wanted to buy a bass for home, instead of lugging my Yamaha from the rehearsal studio. I was just going to get a "no name whatever" online, but then the MusicMan SUB series caught my eye, they were so cheap it made me wonder why I didn't just pony up a bit more cash and get a nice bass instead a cheapie for practice? The Sub was only a couple hundred more. I am a recording engineer, I ran my own studio for 7 years and I remember MusicMan bass sounds always impressing me. They had that "pro" bottom end that made recordings sound expensive, and I always thought they sounded very balanced across the neck, something I was critical of other basses including my Yamaha. It is OK when I EQ around it but there seems to be a big divide between the E and A string tones. There are a lot of great reviews of the SUB series, and when an online shop gave me a price that was hard to beat and no retail shop would have one until September, I got a SUB RAY4-BK delivered. Unfortunately right out of the box it had issues - I could hear a bad rattle/vibration when the E string was played open or 1st fret. Long story short it went back to the shop and the luthier confirmed it was the truss rod vibrating. The other one they had in stock had the same issue. This was not inspiring. They had one other, the walnut finish model. This played great, and testing it into a little amp they had in store, it seemed OK - they let me exchange and I took it to rehearsal. I have played the Walnut one for 3 days now I don't get it... It distorts its own internal preamp? I have done several wiring setups and gain positions, external compressors and pads, fresh super heavy duty batteries, fresh leads and check for scratchy pots.. nothing stops the low notes farting out from preamp overload. I thought MusicMan basses were rock - but you would have to play very light handed on this bass to stop clipping. No way a pick player who does fast stuff will stop the farts. The output on this bass is incredible, it is closer to line level than a low impedance guitar output. Even with the output volume jack on 5% I am getting peaks that are very hot. But even with good gain staging and levels that give good tone, as soon as I dig in with the pick, think a Motorhead riff, it is clipping and losing dynamics, the leading transient, a bad sound. Recording the bass straight in via DI shows the same crappy sound when I play with a bit of balls on the E string. I have tried straight into my bass pod and other amp sims.. but everything has the sound of the bass preamp clipping which sends a crap sound all the way down the line.. A sound my audio engineer ear associates with cheap active basses. It is such a shame, as the tone of this bass when it doesn't clip is really interesting. It is worlds away from my Yamaha but this is good, it broadens my tone options in my band. Playing the SUB on the A string and above, wow. Very clear top end and I cut through the band in loud rock rehearsals. But it seems to not handle me rocking out on an open e string..? I am going to take it back to the shop but thought I would ask the forum for any tips, things I'm missing or can try before I assume I have a crappy cheap bass and start the hunt again? Thanks for any advice.